Amazing Eau Claire Clean-Up brings community together

The annual clean up brought volunteers together to clean the places they live, work and play

More stories from Hannah Angell


Photo by Gabbie Henn

Eau Claire volunteers come together to clean up the city with over 200 bags of trash collected.

As temperatures warm and snow disappears, residue from the months before the snow are revealed, with cigarette butts, litter and debris littered in streets. The Eau Claire community has a solution to pick up the trash left behind: the Amazing Eau Claire Clean-Up.

On the morning of April 27, hundreds of volunteers gathered to participate in the 10th annual Amazing Eau Claire Clean-Up — a community cleaning event.

“The event seems to get stronger every year,” Todd Chwala, the parks supervisor, said. “It’s truly a signature event for our community.”

DECI’s “Our City,” another clean up crew in Eau Claire, joined the Amazing Eau Claire Cleanup for this year’s event.

Armed with complimentary t-shirts and trash bags, volunteers picked up trash around Eau Claire to keep the city clean.

“The Amazing Eau Claire Clean Up is vital because (it) focuses on protecting and improving our beautiful city,” Carrie Ottum, the recreation program supervisor, said.

Organized by Eau Claire Parks, Recreation and Forestry, the Amazing Eau Claire Clean-Up assigned volunteers to locations such as community parks, neighborhood playgrounds, picnic areas, recreational trails and downtown streets to pick up litter.

The clean-up brought in over 200 bags of trash, Ottum said.

The clean up started in 2008, occurring each year with the exception of one due to snow — which still brought a great turnout, she said.

“The clean-up allows locals to feel they can positively impact their city just by volunteering for a few hours one day a year,” Ottum said.

Volunteers come together to clean areas around town where people work, live and play, making the city a cleaner place to live.

“It’s exciting to see individuals of all ages, from youth to older adults, come together to help make Eau Claire beautiful,” Ottum said.

There are many groups who have been helping to community since the inaugural year and the number of volunteers keeps growing each year.

“This year there were 588 registered volunteers for the event and over 210 attended the Volunteer Celebration held after the clean-up,” Ottum said.

The event was held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. After the clean-up, the City of Eau Claire held a lunch for the volunteers to say a special thanks.

“It’s very rewarding to see the hundreds of volunteers give their time,” Ottum said. “It demonstrates a sense of community and responsibility to keep our city safe and clean for future generations.”

Angell can be reached at [email protected].